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Credibility Continuum

With so much information readily available, how do you know what sources to trust? Use this guide to help determine the credibility of various information sources.



Scholarly journals are also called academic or peer-reviewed journals. A scholarly article is one that is written by scholars holding advanced degrees or other experts in that field. Peer-reviewed journals refer only to those scholarly journals that submit articles to several other scholars, experts, or academics (peers) in the field for review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published. Non-fiction books written by experts in their field and published by academic presses are also considered scholarly.

Identifying Scholarly Sources

  • Content:  Primary account of original research.  Each article provides an in-depth discussion of findings and methods. 
  • Author(s): Authors are experts in their field.  The authors are responsible for the research and experiments outlined in the article.
  • Credibility: Credentials are usually provided at the beginning of each article.  It will tell you what their expertise is and where they currently do research. 
  • Audience: Written for scientists, scholars, students, and researchers.
  • Language: Has high levels of specialized terminology used within the field that might require expertise to understand.   
  • References: Required!  The article will will be full of citations and references that can easily be verified.